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APS student`s father seeks Ehsanullah`s trial by army court

By Waseem Ahmad Shah 2017-05-10
PESHAWAR: The father of one of many Peshawar Army Public School students killed by militants during a 2014 attack on campus has moved the Peshawar High Court against the government`s alleged plan to give clemency to the former spokesman for the banned outfit, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, Ehsanullah Ehsan, who is in the custody of security agencies.

He requested the court to order the militant`s trial by a military court for different acts of terrorism, including the APS carnage.

Fazal Khan, whose elder son Sahibzada Umar Khan was also killed in the APS incident, on Tuesday filed a petition praying the high court to direct the respondents, including the federal government, to refrain from giving clemency to Ehsanullah Ehsan.

He prayed the court to declare thatEhsanullah be tried by a military court expeditiously and that he being a person affected by the 2014 carnage be formally informed about the findings of the trial thereafter.

The respondents in the petition Eled through Barrister Amirullah Chamkani include the federal government through interior secretary, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government through chief secretary, defence ministry through defence secretary, Inter-Services Intelligence director general, chief of the army staf f, and law and human rights ministry through its secretary.

The petitioner said 148 students and staff members, including his eighth grader son, had lost lives in the Dec 16, 2014, APS attack, which was the most brutal and barbaric act of terrorism.

He said he had long been making efforts to see the culprits punished so that children of other parents didn`t go through the unimaginable ordeal suffered by him, his family and numerous other parents in the form of the APS carnage.

The petitioner said he was not given the right to file FIR nor was he given an opportunity to exercise his right under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure tonominate the culprits on the pretext that the matter was sensitive and that culprits would be dealt with appropriately after due inquiry and investigation.

He claimed that on the very next day of the campus killings, the TTP through Ehsanullah Ehsan had victoriously claimed responsibility for the incident and announced more such attacks in future.

The petitioner added that the state through the respondents had also affirmed and verified that the TTP had carried out the barbaric and inhuman act.

He claimed that except paying yearly lip service to the APS incident to date, not a single concrete step had been taken by the respondents to bring culprits to justice to assuage his misery and other parents`.

The petitioner claimed that after a long period of almost three years, the principal accused and mastermind of the APS incident, Ehsanullah Ehsan alias Tariq, had surrendered or had been captured by the lawenforcement agencies, which had given some hope to him (petitioner) that the perpetrators of the APS incident would be brought to justice.

He said unfortunately to his utmost surprise and disappointment, Ehsanullah Ehsan far from being brought to the aislesof justice is being portrayed as an `unaware innocent and brainwashed` man, who had inadvertently masterminded the APS manslaughter and many other terrorists activities particularly in KP.

The petitioner claimed that he had learned through reliable sources that clemency was on the cards for Ehsanullah Ehsan for his `full and frank disclosure` that was not only highly deplorable but also illegal and unconstitutional outright.

He said even though prior information was given to the respondents about the APS terrorist attack, they had miserable failed in providing security to the schoolchildren and that when one of the principal accused had been arrested,the respondents had the audacity to condone his actions.

The petitioner said the action ofrespondents were arbitrary and unconstitutional having infringed his fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

He said under the Qisas and Diyat law, it was exclusively for the wall (legal heir) to forgive an accused person, and in the current case, the state not being the wali had no legal authority to forgive an accused nor had the respondents fulElled their legal duty in providing security to 148 children killed in the APS attack.